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Energy Policymaking in the UK: Ill-Informed and Incoherent

In March 2012, four former Directors of Friends of the Earth (myself, Tom Burke, Charles Secrett and Tony Juniper) wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron to warn him that the pro-nuclear bias of his advisors across government posed a significant risk to the Government’s ability to fashion a coherent…

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The Aotearoa Circle: An Initiative for Our Times

Back in 2016, I sat down in Auckland with a very good friend of mine, Rob Fenwick, to share our frustrations at the difficulty of getting New Zealanders to understand the critical importance of New Zealand’s natural wealth – its soils, forests, biodiversity, rivers, coastlines, oceans and so on. We…

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2021: Make or Break For The UK’s Climate Strategy – instalment (C)

Both the Ten Point Plan and the Energy White Paper wax lyrical about the potential for CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage), using pretty much the same kind of language as Ministers and fossil fuel companies have been using since the mid-1990s when the technology was first deemed to be…

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2021: Make Or Break For The UK’s Climate Strategy – instalment (B)

If renewables is the UK’s strongest low-carbon suit, energy efficiency in the built environment is by far the weakest. It’s absolutely critical that the UK puts efficiency at the heart of its Net Zero ambition: the lower the total amount of energy required, the easier it becomes to meet that demand…

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2021: Make or break for the UK’s climate strategy

For all sorts of reasons, UK politicians do at last seem to have grasped that we are in the midst of an out-and-out Climate Emergency. Despite people’s worst fears that the whole climate agenda would be sidelined by the pandemic over the course of the last year, that just didn’t happen. Indeed, the…

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Do you want the good news? Or the bad?

Six months into the pandemic, it’s anybody’s guess whether: 1. Governments are effectively using their massive recovery programmes to address the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies; 2. Businesses are effectively using their voice (and backing words with actions) to encourage governments to seize…

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